Child and adolescent mental health

Useful websites and webpages for education professionals

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The AcSEED Initiative seeks to improve support for emotional wellbeing in schools by learning from the experiences of young people, parents/guardians, and teachers. The views and recommendations expressed on this website are based on the real experiences of AcSEED Volunteers and other contributors. They should not be considered as qualified medical opinion, and AcSEED would always recommend seeking professional medical advice on all matters relating to psychological illness.

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The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families is a children’s mental health charity with a vision for a world in which children and their families are effectively supported to build on their own strengths to achieve their goals in life. Children, young people and families are at the heart of everything they do, and they are committed to involving young people and parents in all aspects of their work. They believe mental health and education is a two-way street. Mental health professionals can be helpful to teachers but they also have a great deal to learn from them if the opportunity for schools to enhance wellbeing and resilience is to be fully realised.

Schools in Mind is their free network for school staff and allied professionals which shares practical, academic and clinical expertise regarding the wellbeing and mental health issues that affect schools. The network provides a trusted source of up-to-date and accessible information and resources that school leaders, teachers and support staff can use to support the mental health and wellbeing of the children and young people in their care.

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Nadiya Hussain visits Hove Park School in Brighton to see what measures they have in place to support their students. The school has introduced a specialist team of mentors who are on-site specifically to help any students experiencing anxiety alongside the pressure of studying and being teenager. These teacher-counsellors are trained to spot the early signs of anxiety, and have dedicated therapy rooms.

BBC Teach is home to all the BBC’s teaching resources: Class Clips, School Radio and year-round projects like Super Movers and Bring the Noise. It offers free classroom resources to schools throughout the UK. 

When I Worry About Things is a collection of animated films that use personal testimony to explore mental health issues from the perspective of children.These resources are suitable for use with pupils aged 8-13.

BBC Teach is home to all the BBC’s teaching resources: Class Clips, School Radio and year-round projects like Super Movers and Bring the Noise. It offers free classroom resources to schools throughout the UK. 

My Troubled Mind is a series of powerful animated short films exploring through personal testimony the experiences of teenagers dealing with mental health issues including eating disorders, anxiety, addiction and depression. These films are suitable for teaching PSHE at KS3 and GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Modern Studies at National 4 and 5 in Scotland.

boing boing is a mixed bag of people – academics, parents, young people, practitioners and service users – who find the idea of resilience useful in their lives and in their work. They have a shared passion to explore research and practice that gets to the crux of how to build resilience in complex situations. They’re interested in what to do to help children and families living with persistent difficulties and disadvantage do better than anyone might expect.

 

 The Academic Resilience Approach provides free, practical resources to help everyone in the school community step up and support pupils’ academic resilience.

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The Charlie Walker Memorial Trust has a vision is of a world where people understand and talk openly about depression, where young people know how to maintain wellbeing, and where the most appropriate treatment is available to everyone who needs it. The Trust aims to: equip young people to look after their mental well being; help people to recognise the signs of depression in themselves and others so they know when to seek help; and ensure expert and evidence-based help is available when people need it.

 

Their programmes for schools provide evidence-based training that motivates, informs and provides practical tools that can be easily implemented, encouraging them to take a whole school approach to wellbeing. They also provide a range of free resources and podcasts  on  a variety of topics about young people’s mental health. Schools can also benefit from their free book club.

The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition brings together leading charities to campaign jointly on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. They believe that the following three principles need to be in place in order to build resilient organisations, as well as resilient people within them: better balance between wellbeing and attainment; better training and support for school staff on mental health; and better support for children and young people when needed

Mentally Healthy Schools brings together quality-assured information, advice and resources to help primary schools understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing. Their aim is to increase staff awareness, knowledge and confidence to help you support your pupils

The Healthy London Partnership works to improve Londoners’ health and wellbeing, and has developed the  Mental Health in Schools Toolkit in partnership with the Greater London Authority.  They encourage school leaders and staff, health care professionals and commissioners to use the toolkit for a wide range of information and guidance on how to promote emotional wellbeing and mental health within schools. 

Kidscape's vision is for all children to grow up in a world free from bullying and harm, with adults who keep them safe and help them to reach their full potential. They provide children, families, carers and professionals with advice, training and practical tools to prevent bullying and protect young lives.

Kidscape works with teachers and other school staff to keep children safe. Their website includes top tips for schools and school bus drivers, as well as information on understanding the terms associated with bullying, and a guide to bullying and the law, as it relates to schools in England and Wales.

Mental Health Today shares positive and innovative examples of mental health care. By sharing 'what good looks like' they support services to improve their level of care and individuals to bolster their own personal mental health.

They have a dedicated section called Teach me well, with information and resources for schools, to help deliver genuine mental health literacy and supportive, trauma-sensitive environments.

Mental Health UK supports people affected by mental health problems including friends, family and carers. In September 2019 they launched a new young people’s programme, Bloom. Bloom is a UK-wide programme which supports young people’s mental health resilience. Delivered in schools and colleges, Bloom equips young people with the tools and knowledge to maintain their mental health through life’s transitions, both now and in the future.

The Mental Health Foundation's vision is for a world with good mental health for all; their mission is to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health. Prevention is at the heart of what they do, because the best way to deal with a crisis is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Their knowledge is informed by rigorous research and practical based study.

They have recently launched aw Make it Count campaign with information for schools,, because mental health is not extracurricular.

Mindreel is a Scottish initiative to create a valuable learning resource using educational films that about mental health. Positive Mental Attitudes is a group of four real life accounts of pupils who have experienced difficult situations at school (including anger management; coping as a young carer; bullying; alcohol; drugs; hearing voices and sleep loss), and aims to better equip students to deal with challenging issues that may impact their mental health and well-being at school. In doing so, these stories aim to stimulate emotional resilience among young people, and foster a sense of worth and self-esteem.The stories are supported by teaching resources.

The NCB brings people and organisations together to drive change in society and deliver a better childhood for the UK. It coordinates the Partnership for Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools: a national network of more than 50 organisations from the education, health and wellbeing, and children's sectors that supports schools and provide services to improve the wellbeing and mental health of all children in education. Membership includes professional associations, schools, academic institutions, and the voluntary and community sector.

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The PSHE Association is the national body for Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, leading the effort to ensure that every pupil receives high-quality provision.

Their resources include lesson plans on mental health and emotional wellbeing lesson plans for key stages 1 to 4 fro designed to meet the 2020 statutory PSHE requirements regarding Health Education, Relationships Education and RSE.

Place2Be is a national charity providing in-school emotional support to children and young people. They offer a menu of services for primary and secondary schools, providing support for children and young people as well as parents, teachers and school staff, tailored to meet schools' needs. 

They work with primary and secondary school children and young people to enable them to cope with emotional and behavioural difficulties, and struggles to cope with specific life events or increased stress and anxiety during adolescence.Place2Be also offers drop-in/self-referral sessions during school breaks; group work in The Art Room; and support for school staff and parents.

R U OK?'s vision is a world where we're all connected and are protected from suicide. Their mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life.

 

For students, learning how to support their peers and talk about how they feel is an important life lesson, so where better to start than in the classroom? These resources for primary, secondary and tertiary institutions will help students everywhere start a conversation. The website is an Australian initiative, so not everything will be applicable to the UK, but there are activities and videos that can be used in any classroom. 

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 Sageguarding Network was founded by two social workers experienced in working with children and young people. They were concerned that there is an increasing requirement on schools to fill the void left by decreasing social care budget, with head teachers repeatedly telling them they are teachers, not social workers, ill-equipped to lead the school in relation to safeguarding responsibilities. Safeguarding Network is therefore designed with the aim of reducing this burden.7

 

Their website includes in-depth safeguarding insight on children and young people’s mental health,

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ReachOut.com is an online youth mental health service based in Australia. It helps young people through tough times. Reflecting the need for reliable information on anything which could affect someone’s mental health, ReachOut.com supports those going through a tough time. Emphasis is placed on peer support and the principle that we all know someone going through a tough time. They engage in a space natural to most of us now – online.

ReachOut.com has a section of their website dedicated to a whole-school approach to wellbeing, with engaging activities for students and credible, flexible resources for teachers., as well as information on self-care.

Samaritans supports schools, college communities and other youth settings across the UK and Republic of Ireland through their postvention services, lesson plans and school talks. Step by Step provides practical support to help schools prepare for and recover from a suspected or attempted suicide.

talks can be about emotional health, the value of listening, coping strategies (including self-harm) or about Samaritans and the importance of accessing support and where it can be found.

The tes started out in print more than 100 years ago as The Times Educational Supplement. Today they are one of the largest, professional digital communities, connecting and supporting more than 13 million educators globally. They believe in the power of great teaching, supporting and connecting teachers and schools worldwide, helping them to improve children's lives through education. They have a hub devoted to mental health, as well as resources to promote mental health awareness in schools.

The Difference exists to improve the outcomes of vulnerable children by raising the status and expertise of those who educate them. They are committed to reducing  school exclusion.

Time to Change is a growing social movement working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. 

Their website includes resources to help teachers work with young people to create an open, supportive culture around mental health. They suggest five ways to make a difference with your students.

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity fighting for a future where all children and young people are supported and empowered and to make sure they get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties. They have a helpline for parents to get advice on their child’s behaviour, emotional wellbeing, or mental health,

 

YoungMinds knows how important the wellbeing of your pupils is to schools, so they have developed. the 360° Schools programme to help you to put wellbeing at the heart of your schools’ improvement. By joining our 360° Schools’ Community, you’ll receive e-newsletters packed with free teaching resources, videos, tips and examples of good practice in mental health and wellbeing from other professionals, straight to your inbox. They also provide training and a variety of free resources.

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For governors and trustees

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Mentally Healthy Schools brings together quality-assured information, advice and resources to help primary schools understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing. This includes information on how  governors and trustees can support pupil mental health and wellbeing by working with school management.

Videos

Students of Cape Cornwall School worked on creating a video to help adults approach young people in relation to mental health.

 

Young people with mental health problems discuss the difficulties of being heard in a world where adults make decisions that will undoubtedly affect their futures without allowing them to be involved.

 

This film seeks to help teachers remain vigilant and understanding towards their own pupils, as well as being accessible for young people who may be experiencing these problems.

 

The Anna Freud Centre has developed a short animation for all staff that recognises the importance of supporting children and young people’s mental health in schools and colleges, and offers a simple principle for staff to remember; CARE: (Curious, Approachable, Refer, Empathy).

 

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